Musings of a Dysautonomiac

Working on Being Awesome Without Feeling Awesome

sick on top of sick…

Don’t get your hopes up – this post is not about sick people…you know, getting “on top” of sick people. Sorry if you were kind of excited about that.

I must be allergic to New Years’. You may remember from last year that I spent the first few days of 2013 with a migraine and vomiting. Unfortunately, this year isn’t off to a much better start.  I woke up on New Year’s Eve with whatever cold/flu/plague that’s currently going around. And I know exactly who is to blame.

I don’t have any children, and whether I ever will is a topic for a different post.  But as a woman in her mid-30’s, my uterus sometimes likes to pretend I do have children by kicking in my maternal instincts and finding a substitute.  So when the BF is sick, my head screams “Tainted! Stay away!”, but my uterus wants to bring him gatorade and chicken soup.  And, the uterus is like the house – it always wins.  Ladies, you know what I’m talking about.

After being sick for two days, the BF wakes up feeling refreshed and I wake up with a sore throat, headache, runny nose and sounding like Karen from “Will and Grace”. It is now eight days later, I haven’t had a voice for the past three, and I’m not any better.

I’d like to say it’s entirely the fault of my shitty immune system, but in retrospect, the wine, California burrito, and walking a 5k may not have been the wisest ideas (not at the same time).  That’s right – I walked a 5k on January 1st – suck it, dysautonomia. Last year I set that goal (Next year – polar plunge! Who’s with me??), and I was going to crawl the 3.1 miles if I had to. It took me like two hours and the guy on the treadmill next to me looked a little worried that I might barf on him, but I walked it. Vomit free.

nothing says “i’m sick” quite like a photo of chicken soup cans.

However, now I just can’t seem to get rid of this sickness, or get my voice back. Sure, this scratchy whisper is sexy when breathed into a lover’s – and also apparently the UPS guy’s – ear. But there’s nothing appealing about a middle-aged woman with a cracking, prepubescent horse voice as it tries to come back. The quick weight loss is nice, but if the way to this girl’s heart is through her stomach, and without an appetite I can’t eat the BF’s cooking, how am I supposed to know if I still love him?? I also have a pimple on my forehead that probably has nothing to do with being sick, but I’m looking for something to blame…

Being ill is always unpleasant, and certainly isn’t made any better by an underlying illness, such as dysautonomia (the sick on top of sick).  Colds and flus stress our system, and stressors to our body, physical or otherwise, exacerbates symptoms.  So of course my balance issues, dizziness, lightheadedness and headaches are increased.

Dehydration can become an issue for those who are sick on top of sick, as all of the drippiness results in a loss of fluids. Sometimes it’s difficult to drink when you don’t feel well, so I’ve found setting goals to consume a certain amount of fluids helps. I’ll fill a 32 oz water bottle and set a goal to drink at least a cup every hour.  If I meet the goal, I get rewarded with something really exciting like a nap.  I’ll nap even if I don’t finish it, but it’s not the same as the smug satisfaction you get from knowing you earned that nap.

"someecards.comI’ve found bed exercises (no, not that kind) to be helpful as well. After a while, I can’t tell if I’m achy from the flu or from being sedentary.  Not only do a couple stretches and leg lifts get the blood flowing, they can also help you realize what has been missing from the Olympics all these years (Team USA, Bed-nastics – Brazil 2016!!).

On occasions where I’m homebound (I’ve had to work for the past eight days), I also try to step outside for at least a minute every day. Feeling a little sunlight, or even just breathing some air that hasn’t been surrounding your dirty tissues and sweaty pillowcase, can be surprisingly helpful. I’ve also found that wandering around outside in my jammies while carrying a box of tissues is a great way to make friends with the neighbors.  Unless you live in one of those places where it’s snowing right now. If that’s the case, you get credit for just staring out the window for a few minutes.

Lastly, I have found it is absolutely necessary to read labels for any cold/flu/plague medications. Decongestants give me bad heart palpitations and aspirin makes me throw up, so I don’t usually take anything. Some antibiotics can interact with other medications, so be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any new prescriptions for a cold or flu.

Readers, how do you handle being sick on top of sick?

“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”
― Mark Twain

Smell ya later.- Linds

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6 thoughts on “sick on top of sick…

  1. http://sondasmcschatter.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/gold-fish-out-of-water/

    OVER 5 WEEKS & STILL NO VOICE— BUT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO LAY DOWN IN BED & SLEEP FOR 4 NIGHTS NOW– WITH OUT HAVING TO FIGHT FOR EACH BREATHE OF AIR—– I AM GETTING BETTER– HOPE YOU ARE TOOO!!

  2. Wow, over 5 weeks?!! That’s awful – I’m sorry to hear that! Glad you are getting better!

  3. This stuff that is going around is nasty. My husband coughed for almost two weeks straight really hard and then it started to slow down but he didn’t lose his voice. I have had two sinus infections in less than a month (my sinuses are my weak spot) but not coughing. My daughter had a sinus infection when I had my first and now is losing her voice. It is difficult handling sick on sick with trying to find a safe way to deal with it.

    I have to stay well this time. I had to reschedule my LDA from day after tomorrow to Friday of the next week because I am not well enough.

    Please feel better soon.

    • thank you!

      it sounds like your family sure got the rotten end of whatever is going around! being sick on top of sick is challenging, especially when it keeps recurring or lasts a long time. it’s difficult having a weak immune system!

  4. I handled my version of what I thought to be “the new years plague” with a trip to the E.R. which turned into a six day stay.

    Sick on top of sick overcame me quickly and easily, and the hospital workup showed my kidneys and liver had already begun to falter (I had been fighting it for a few days on my own).

    I let the E.R. know about my Dysautonomia and for once they kind-of knew what it was and to take my dehydrated condition that much more seriously. Took almost a week to even nudge my numbers up enough for them to let me go.

    Hope we both have better days ahead.

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your trip to the E.R.! I’m glad they knew about dysautonomia and what to do for it! I ended up at Urgent Care this morning and mentioned that i had dysautonomia and the doctor not only knew what it was, but also asked if I thought I needed IV fluids while I was there! It makes me happy that the word is getting out.

      I hope you feel better soon!

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